Majestic America offers new Big Easy sailing

Majestic America Line will offer 238 departures in 2008. Its fleet of seven boutique river and coastal cruise ships will ply the Mississippi, Ohio and tributary rivers; the Columbia and Snake Rivers in the Pacific Northwest; and Alaska's Inside Passage.

A new Big Easy-themed cruise debuts next year, with seven-night sailings from Jan. 12 to Feb. 28. The roundtrip features an extra day to explore New Orleans, with excursions to attractions such as the National World War II Museum and Mardi Gras World.

Majestic will offer 117 sailings of seven to 14 nights on three river cruise ships -- the American Queen, Mississippi Queen and Delta Queen -- on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. Rates for seven-night programs start at $1,799 per person, double.

In the Pacific Northwest, the line will offer 80 sailings from March to December aboard the Empress of the North (soon to be back in service, after running aground off Alaska on May 14) the Queen of the West and the Columbia Queen. Rates for seven-night cruises start at $1,899 per person, double.

In summer, the Empress of the North returns to Alaska's Inside Passage, joined by the 48-passenger Contessa.

Call (800) 434-1232 or visit www.majesticamericaline.com.

Majestic joins CLIA

The Cruise Lines International Association added Majestic America Line as its 22nd member. The addition brought CLIA's membership to 97% of cruise capacity in North America.

Majestic America is a division of Ambassadors Cruise Group, which also operates Windstar Cruises. Majestic America will remain a members of the Niche Cruise Marketing Alliance.

American Star loves N.Y.

Starting Oct. 6, American Cruise Lines will reposition its 200-passenger American Star from coastal Maine to New York's Hudson River. The first sailing will depart Providence, R.I.; two more Hudson River cruises this autumn will be roundtrips from New York City.

Itineraries include stops in New York, West Point, Albany and Tarrytown. The 215-foot-long, four-deck American Star features oversized staterooms with private verandas and picture windows. Each room also has a flat-screen satellite TV and DVD player, individual climate control and Internet access.

American Cruise Lines also offers Hudson River fall foliage cruises aboard the 100-passenger American Spirit and the 49-passenger American Glory. 

Call (800) 814-6880 or visit www.americancruiselines.com.

Michelle Baran is Travel Weekly's river cruise editor. E-mail her at [email protected].

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